Interview with Tamar Rimmon: Analytics Without The Glazed Over Look

03/24/2014

Part Two of a series of interviews with Adobe Digital and Social Media Summit Speakers & Attendees. 

Tamar Rimmon, Conde Nast, tells us how her team provides meaningful insights to senior managment and internal clients that support the brand's goals. 

Tamar Rimmon _ Conde NastAbout Tamar Rimmon - Tamar is Senior Manager of Analytics and Audience Development at Conde Nast. She works with Conde Nast’s brands – including The New Yorker, Glamour, and WIRED – helping them deliver unique brand experiences for their audiences and drive engaged users to their sites. Tamar’s career spans the television, publishing and digital media industries.

Toby/Diva Marketing: As Senior Manager of Analytics and Audience Development your days are filled with numbers. Often the people that ask for analytic reports may not live in your world. How do you tell the story of the numbers so your internal clients don’t get the ‘glazed over look?’

Tamar Rimmon/Conde Nast: My team’s goal is to help guide brand strategy by providing meaningful insights to our internal clients. I found that the best way to bring value is to get into my clients’ shoes and understand what matters most to them.

The story should not be about the numbers in and of themselves – it should be about what the numbers tell us regarding the things that are important to our clients, and how they can make better decisions by leveraging these learnings. I’m also a big believer in data visualization.

Presenting the numbers in a visual way is a great way to convey insights and make the data accessible and easier to grasp even to those who are not experts in analytics.

Toby/Diva Marketing: We understand that measuring success starts with goals/objectives. However, sometimes is seems like “data data everywhere and not a drop to drip.” (Apologizes to  Samuel Taylor Coleridge). How have you determined which analytics to focus on in terms of demonstrating value to senior leadership?

Tamar Rimmon/Conde Nast: It's easy to get overwhelmed by data overload, but we have to be in control of the data instead of letting the data control us. Analytics must be derived from and aligned with the goals of the organization.

Conde Nast has always been focused on creating high quality content that caters to valuable audiences, so we structure our analytics around this objective. My focus is on harnessing the analytics to understand who our high-value audiences are, how they behave, and what we need to do to engage and delight them.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What is a must bring to Adobe Summit for you?

Tamar Rimmon/Conde Nast: A notepad! (mine is digital, though…) Adobe Summit is a great opportunity to meet fellow analysts and marketers and learn about all the innovative things they are doing. I like to keep track of the new ideas that I hear about and the thoughts they inspire in me, and I make sure to bring it all back with me to the office when the Summit is over.

Tamar's Adobe Social Sessions: Social ROI all star panel & The rise of the social analyst

This Diva Marketing post is part of an influencer Adobe Insider program for Adobe Summit. I receive incentives to share my views. All opinions are 100% mine.

Interview with Cory Edwards: Creating Social Business Structures

03/23/2014

One of the benefits of a biz blog is sometimes 'fair trade' agreements. Recently Adobe reached out and asked if I would be part of a 4-member Insider group, along with Travis Wright, Elizabeth Osmeloski, Michele Kiss, that would help socialize their digital marketing conference next week .. Adobe Summit. Sounded like good learnings to share. With over 5000 attendees sounded like a biz carnival! Sounded like fun.

Adobe also offered introductions to speakers and attendees who are doing innovative work in digital/social. More good learnings for us. And I've never been to Salt Lake City so I said. "Yes" to the opportunity.

Part One of a series of interviews with Adobe Digital and Social Media Summit Speakers & Attendees. First up .. Cory Edwards from Abode who provides his insights about how to build a Center or Excellence that is more than just a shiny new toy.

Corey Edwards _AdobeAbout Cory Edwards - Corey is head of Adobe’s Social Business Center of Excellence. He is responsible for integrating social media into the way Adobe does business. Prior to Adobe, Cory was director of social media at Dell. Cory is also an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Social Centers of Excellence have become the new ‘must have’ for many organizations. How do you ensure that a company’s center of excellence is a true business tool and not the latest shiny new toy that is here today and gone tomorrow?

Cory Edwards/Adobe: Structure. And I agree with you, far too often companies establish a CoE but frankly don’t institute it with a framework to guide it successfully. While we often refer to our own group as a CoE, I often define it to people internally as an operations group.

If you think of more structured business functions like sales or marketing, they almost always also have a corresponding sales operations team or a marketing operations team. Thinking of social in that light isn’t a bad way to approach a CoE function. It is a corporate function that is focused on creating and maintaining a smooth operation for the social business.

There are a few things that need to happen in my opinion to be successful. First, businesses need to be social by design — that idea lends itself to having a CoE. Secondly, the business needs to parallel path the ‘doing’ of social media with the back-end internal social operation. For Adobe, our back-end social operation is built upon a foundation with 4 core pillars: 

1. Governance (Policies, processes, audits, account management & security, alignment with business units, etc.)

2. Enablement (Training of social media teams & employee base, employee activation, consulting, working with regions, etc.)

3. Measurement (data driven insights, measurement frameworks, Dashboard, Listening research, etc.)

4. Innovation (disruptive pilots to existing business processes, vendor/tool evaluation, identifying needs within the business, POV on industry changes, close ties with the social networks, etc.)

Toby/Diva Marketing: Do you believe that an organization can become a ‘social business’ without the concept incorporated into the company’s overarching strategic direction? Please explain your response.

Cory Edwards/Adobe: That may depend a bit on the company and its industry, but from my perspective it would be awfully difficult to become a social business without that concept incorporated into the company’s direction. That doesn’t mean the company needs to come out and overtly restate its mission so that it includes social, but it does mean that social really is an influencing factor in corporate strategy and various functional strategies (marketing, support, product development, talent acquisition, etc.).

Executives who want to establish a social business should be aware of social trends, open to social insights and willing to explore how the integration of social within various business functions can potentially disrupt the normal way of doing business in a way that might improve it. At Adobe, it has helped tremendously to have two key champions of social: our CEO Shantanu Narayen and our CMO Ann Lewnes, both of whom have stated clearly that they want to see Adobe become one of the most social brands in the world. And believe me, it’s not simply talk, they regularly talk about it, ask about it, provide feedback and generally want to know what we’re doing now and next. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: What is a must bring to Adobe Summit for you?

Cory Edwards/Adobe: Two things: 1- Evernote. I’m a big fan and user for both my work and personal life. 2- Fitbit Force. If I’m going to be walking all those long halls at Summit, I want to make sure I’m getting exercise credit for it. Just think of how many steps I can rack up each day next week!

Cory's Adobe Summit Session - How to operate a social by design business. 

Follow Cory on Twitter @CoryEdwards

This Diva Marketing post is part of an influencer Adobe Insider program for Adobe Summit. I receive incentives to share my views. All opinions are 100% mine.

What Is Your One Big Truth About Social Media?

05/13/2013

The truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time but it ain't goin' away. ~ Elvis Presley

Crowd source
Just One Crowd Sourced Question 

Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and other social networks changed how we think about "social media" from those long ago days of the blogosphere. However, I wondered if the "truths" of social media also changed. 

Is social media still about people-to-people conversations or is monetization the focus? Has social media become a ghost writer's paradise or is transparency still critical? What does authenticity mean in 2013?
 

Just Once Crowd Sourced Question is a Diva Marketing series where the community shares their insights on a specific social media issue.  One truth that still remains consistent even in 2013 .. social media is about learning together.

What Is Your One Big Truth About Social Media in 2013?

Jack Yan. I think social media are changing forms.

I go to my Facebook feed and I see links. This could be the new Digg (something I’ve said for years). I didn’t come here to see links, I came here to share and see what my friends are up to. Facebook is too busy monetizing and breaking its own features, too, which doesn’t help. It’s buggy as heck. It has zero user support.

So to get those people-to-people connections, I have to go to Instagram, where the “conversations” (via photos) are just that more authentic. I don’t see that on Pinterest or Linkedin. But if I am sharing on Instagram, then something’s got to give.

Twitter, once so open, has become a closed-minded place—it’s not helped by Tweetdeck, which crashes like crazy now, and Metrotwit doesn’t handle multiple accounts. I know there are other tools, but my point is that things aren’t all running in Twitter’s favour any more. So if I have good tools to use for Instagram, then why should I bother with Twitter?

Tumblr, which I always thought was a blogging platform, is still a neat insight into our preferences and how we think. In that way, it has a social connection for netizens. Plus it has reached 100,000,000 users—and staff can still send personal replies, responding to bug reports and other enquiries. Facebook, Yahoo, Google and others have a lot to learn from these guys.

Social media are still about people-to-people conversations. We had those conversations with Vox between 2006 and 2009, which predated Facebook with sharing to different audiences. Transparency is still important.

I don’t think these definitions change—just that the sites that once hosted them are not what they used to be.

@JackYan JackYan.com

Nettie Reyonds. I would say that this year the big and necessary truth is for social media to stop taking itself so seriously.

It's not what it has been hyped up to be and people need to employ the social media economy of effort - meaning use the tools to connect with your customers on a real basis - make that effort and your company will benefit long- term much more than it would mired in hype, haste and hastily pushed out disingenuous content!!! ~ @netreynolds Nettie Ink

B.L. Ochman. My one big truth about social media: it continues to be my most important source of news and information, and it continues to baffle most companies. Wait! Is that two thruths?!  What's Next Blog PawFun  @whatsnext 

Judy Mod. We believe social provides a lens into the world of our buyers and continues to transform the way buyers go-to-market to solve strategic business problems.

The problem we are focused on solving within the Social Executive Council is the shift from vendor-driven to peer influence is marginalizing vendors as buyers demand to be empowered with education on the problem definition before they engage for education on solution differences.

How do we arm buyers in the market to operationalize their problem diagnosis to reach them early enough to be a trusted advisor in their buying process and throughout their life cycle as a customer? This shift and our lack of market visibility because of the noise and barriers to buyer adoption are having a significant impact on every aspect of our business performance. ~ @JudyMod

Anonymous. You don't have to be on every form of social media just the ones that work best for you and your business. 

Michael Rubin. It's ultimately still about people. Technology's the tool, social media's the rocket fuel, people are the soul. ~ @merubin  MichaelE.Rubin.com

Tanya McGill Freeman. I think it's absolutely about people-to-people conversations...now more than ever!

People do business with people that may represent companies but not really just the companies themselves as a whole. Therefore the act of authentic, real engagement is so incredibly important. We tend to do business with those we know, like and trust, and social media provides a very effective way to establish those bonds and maintain them. @D_Sophisticate

Kelly Dovovan. social media is still about one-to-one or one-to-few conversations, but social media networks are making that harder to do as time goes on.

Facebook admits that they show a Page's posts to only about 16% of that Page's followers' news feeds. You have to pay if you want to send a direct message to your fans, too.

Both Facebook and Twitter have started cluttering users' news feeds with ads and sponsored posts/tweets, making it harder for users to notice your posts.

LinkedIn seems to be the least commercial platform, but surveys show that people online spend only about 2% of their social media time on LinkedIn, so your conversation better stand out for the moment when someone in your LinkedIn group actually logs into that network or you will miss them.

Our challenge in 2013 is to meet users where they are and position ourselves as someone worth actively following.

~  @HurriGator

Anonymous. Simplicity. Simplify it.

Toss of the pink boa to all who generously shared their truths.  Pink boa

 What is your one Big Truth about social media in 2013?

Read More Just One Crowd Sourced Questions

How Do You Build B2B Relationships Using Social Media?

How Do You Take The Fear Factor Out of Social Media?

How Do You Put Soul Into A Blog Post?

Why Don't People Get Social Media Is Not A Private Conversation?

What Is Your One Tip To An Agency/Freelancer Contracted To Be The Voice Of The Brand In Social Networks? 


At it's ♥ Social Media Is Our Teacher.

12/31/2011

One of the aspects of social media that I like most is what is at the very ♥. Try as we might (and we certainly keep trying!) we can't corral it.

Gifts on keyboardSocial media is not the beautifully wrapped box you might have opened last week. It's not the gift that you knew exactly what to expect from the shape or size of the package.

The ribbons on our social media package, just as beautiful as that perfect gift, are slightly skewed. The paper is held together by all sorts of different tapes. And when you rip open the package it's not quite what you might have expected. You see Girlfriends, social media is a messy, magical gift.

Sometimes it's playful and brings innovative new ideas. Sometimes it holds a mirror up to help you understand how the operational side of your business is working .. or not. Sometimes it's comforting with friends supporting your efforts.  

  • At it's ♥ social media is our teacher. 

Our friends at MSN Business On Main posted an article highlighting characteristics of successful entreprenurs. Steve Strauss identified the Top 3 Traits of the World’s Best Entrepreneurs: Idealistic, Teammates, Character with Character. Steve's post held an ah ah thought for me. 

Take this back to social media. The Internet has given (most of) us, for good or for bad, a digital footprint trail. Your presence, especially on open social networks e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and let's add blogs and blog comments, is so easily findable. You have, by default, let loose into the world .. your personal brand .. along with your digital business card.

Your digital footprint trail provides insights into who you are: Idealistic, Teammate, Character with Character. Even if your social media presence is not tied directly to your company, in an adjunct way, you are part of its digital tapestry and it to you. One more way that you can't corral social media.

During 2011, I began to build personal branding workshops that help organizations leverage the benefits from their employees' personal brands while aligning with the company's brand values. My thoughts are this is a critical piece of the social business puzzle. Bernie Borges termed this "corporate personal branding."

Clara Nelson, one of the awesome project managers at the American Marketing Association, understood the concept. She asked if I would team with Bernie Borges, CEO Find and Convert, to develop a 2-day workshop for AMA: Personal Branding Within The Corporate Workplace. Our podcast offers tips on how to begin your corporate personal branding strategy.

So you see, Divas and Divos, although when you first unwrapped your social media present you might have assumed it was simply a Facebook game or Twitter chat. Social media is so much more. Where it will take us in 2012 is anyone's guess. The one thing I do know for certain .. 

  • At it's ♥ social media is our teacher. 

With just hours away from bidding 2011, either a fond good bye or a kick in the derriere .. from the Sound of Music  --

 So long, farewell

Auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu
To you and you and you

Thank you for your support and friendship. Max and I look forward to continuing the conversation with you in 2012. In the meantime, wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous year where all that you wish comes true. 

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for MNS Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

Social Media Lessons For Brands & Their Agencies From Football

11/11/2010

Social media use is a contact sport, not a spectator sport. The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter, Allison Fine

49775_49ers_raiders_football It's so easy to buy your bag of peanuts and sit in the bleachers as you watch your agency kick the ball into flight. Oh sure, you might have been in the Xs & Os meeting helping to create the strategy. You feel that you are an integral part of the play.  And you very well may be.

However, huddled with your branded blanket, watching the game you're not on the field. Unlike an advertisement, press release or CEO speech where your customers accept that someone else has crafted the words, your fans assume that it is You the Brand People who are playing on the field.

Not only have you shifted reality for your raving fans but you've relinquished control of the ball/ brand to your agency. Remember: who ever controls the play (or the conversation) controls the relationship.

Even the best intentioned interactive, ad, PR agencies or consultants can easily fall into the illusion that doing less for a client is actually doing more.

Client cheers!

We don't have time.

The agency can write better than our CEO.

Who will know or care if a tweet comes from the agency or the brand people?Patriots junior cheerleaders

Doing more is built into the DNA of the billable hour agency model.

Agency cheers!

The more we do the more you'll love us.

The stronger the relation.

The more we'll get paid.

When it comes to an agency or consultant social media service (versus social media services) there is a new model emerging. It's one built on positioning the agency or consultant as a "sherpa" who guides and advises. That is far more critical than writing a tweet or a Facebook status up date. It's also far more difficult.

Instead of the client sitting in the stands encouragng the agency to make that social media touchdown, the agency becomes the cheer leader and the coach. The brand people make the plays and interact with their fans.

Role & Responsibilities of the New Social Media Agency/Consultant

High Level Perspective - The role of the social media agency/consultant becomes much more complex as a social media sherpa. A trusted partnership must exist which crosses every area/department that touches the customer .. from marketing communications, consumer insights and PR to customer care, HR and beyond. I call this aligning the social enterprise.

Creating Strategy- Development of integrated plan. Helping to develop guidelines. Leading conversations about social media ethics, transparency, authenticity as it relates to the company culture and brand values/promise.

Monitoring the Conversations On The Social Web - Utilizing tools to create reports that track what the discussions about the brand, industry, people etc.   

Tracking Changes in Tools & New Tools - Social media is moving faster than the average speed of a football thrown in an NFL game (40-60 MPH). It's a challenge to keep up (How many times in the past month has Facebook changed it's rules? Or LinkedIn it's functionality?) with the continuous developments in social media. Providing analysis of which are beneficial and which are shiny new toys.

Creative - Development/building out of branded social media platforms e.g., Facebook, games, ads.

Update: Forgot one of the most important roles ... 

Education: Helping your clients understand not only the culture of social media and the big picture but the tactical execution e.g., how to write tweets, posts,etc., social media etiquette and ethics, participating versus messaging, etc.

There are many ways an agency or consultant can be of social media service to a client beyond kicking the social media ball on the field.

Beware! The Social Media Dog Strategy Mentality

08/15/2010

With over 13,500 views on YouTube, my dog Max thinks he's a social media rock star pup. Shh.. don't tell him there are videos with millions of views and he is at most a blip on the celebrity circuit. It would hurt his feelings.  Max multi color  

In all honesty, Max doesn't really care if 13,500 or 13,500,000 viewed his cute video. Max is a dog. Max is not a brand. For him quasi social media star status is good enough bragging rights at the doggy park.

What is disheartening is many organizations/brands have similar, let's call it a "Social Media Dog Mentality" where cute and counting are the extent of their planning process. Tweets and Facebook status updates fly into cyberspace that are little more than "cute" spins from a marketing campaign. Success is determined by the number of likes, followers, connects, comments or views rarely taking spam bots into consideration or if the "right" people are engaging. 

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at a conference, sponsored by Connuntelligence, about how to build a social media strategy. I presented a 3 phase model that might be helpful to you as you build your social media strategy. 

If your organization is new to social media, or if you jumped in without an enterprise direction,  I would encourage you to spend some time on Step 1: Align the Enterprise

Our customers' expectations of how they make purchasing decisions (peer reviews, online conversations with peers and with the people behind the brand) are changing. That change impacts every traditional customer touch point e.g., customer care, sales, marketing. Business units that rarely, if ever, had direct customer contact may find themselves center stage.

Step 1: Align the Enterprise .. Develop the Social Enterprise 

Face the Gorillas in The Room, Determine the impact on the enterprise, Determine cultural compatibility, Identify social media champions, Inform all your staff  

Step 2: Build the Strategy

Objectives/goals support business outcomes, Conduct social media assessment audit, Conduct industry and competitive analysis, Identify target audience, Ensure Brand consistency, Determine tactics and Content direction, Determine metrics for success

Step 3: Create Awareness

Cross promotional, Social media, Traditional marketing

I'm happy to share the deck with you - below. Thanks to Dorothea Boziconlona-Volpe for her help transcribing the participants' comments about Barriers. @socialespinonage

Puppies are fun and a Social Media Dog Strategy Mentality may be great people talk at meet ups or tweet ups. However, it is not a business strategy. Max sends woofs to you!  

Social Media Strategy In 3 Steps

Learn more about Social Media Strategy in my ebook Social Media Marketing GPS and from the companion podcast series, Social Media GPS,  sponsored by the American Marketing Association.

Social Media Boots Are Made For Running

02/25/2010

Boots cowgirl red  These boots were made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do  .. It's funny the songs that get stuck in our heads. As I prep for a trip to San Antonio boots and cowgirl hats spin in my mind. And girlfriend, those Texas boots are red and sassy! Wondering if Nettie will be wearing a pair ..

Social media is walkin' and some might say runnin' through our business practices. Sadly, it's barely crawling in terms of an integrated process through out most enterprises.

As our understanding of how our customers, the media, prospective employees, current employees, share holders and more use the social web it becomes evident that BBF Shel Israel was right. Social media does not live only in the world of marketing. Public relations, customer service, operations and human resources are exploring ways to incorporate online digital conversational tools.

Comcast is using Twitter as a customer service channe; while the business-to-business company Indium has tapped its engineers and scientists to create twelve niche topic blogs. Small local businesses like Atlanta restaurant Pizzeria Venti are on Twitter, Facebook and including blogger relations outreach to build relations with neighborhood patrons through special offers and conversations.

Isipho, a small nonprofit that’s mission is to improve the lives of the children in Nzinga, South Africa, has raised its awareness and brought in funding through its Facebook page, blog and tweets. Dell is a marketer's dream selling millions of dollars of computers through special Twitter offerings.

All too often, enterprise social conversations are grassroots efforts .. which might seem like it would dovetail with the social media culture. And perhaps it does.  However, with so many areas of the enterprise joining digital conversational exchanges With customers and stakeholders we inadvertently created a set of expectations.

Limited planning and neglect in creating a comprehensive enterprise social media direction results in disappointing customers and in the disconnect of the brand promise. Why? Because we can't sustain the same level of engagement since too frequently no one knows what all of those social media experiences entail.

A few questions for you to consider at your next department meeting:

 Is service better on the Twitter channel than in your call center? 

Does a blog or Facebook post provide more relevant information than your website or brochures or trade shows? 

Do your enterprise bloggers or twitters understand the needs of your customers better than your traditional sales force? 

Is the HR specialist bringing in more qualified candidates through LinkedIn than ads or recruiters?

Please, please, please .. keep in mind: Every time a customer or client interacts with your employees (or -gulp- agency .. you are transparent about that I hope!) within your social media assets (Twitter, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, etc. You do consider then assets and not resource drains?) it creates not only a new experience for that One person but it is viewed by hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of people. That secondary audience also experiences your brand and builds expectations of how they assume you will treat them. 

More questions:

From the customer perspective: If my friend receives a comment from you on her blog post or my neighbor gets his problem resolved from a tweet But I do not .. how is the disconnect in service and the brand promise resolved? Not to mention the "feeling badly" emotions that may occur.

From the enterprise point of view: How in the world do you scale this stuff without hiring a cast of zillions?

One of the benefits that social media brings to the enterprise is  ... a we can not wait any longer .. critical need to ensure cross functional communication systems are in place.

Processes should be developed to capture the learnings and information occurring from each social media touch point. Ideally, that information should be analyzed and placed in a common, let’s call it digital repository.  In addition, critical information should be directed to people who can quickly provided a response and begin a solution process.

  “Un-soloing” an organization,  whether it is a Fortune 100 enterprise with global divisions or a small business with three employees with distinct responsibilities, takes time, commitment, often a change in culture and team work.

These boots are made for walkin' .. or perhaps we should change the song to these shoes were made for runnin'!Running shoe

Miracle On The Social Media Street

12/25/2009

Before you go off the grid for the holidays .. or perhaps when you come back on after toasting in 2010 .. imagine a time when there was no Internet or Twitter or blogs or Facebook or even email. It is Christmas 1947 and the CEO of a major retail organization briefs the company's ad department.

  • "No high pressuring and forcing the customer to take something he doesn't want. We'll be known as the helpful store. The friendly store. The store with a heart. The store that places public service ahead of profit. The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before."

Miracle on 34th street No, it's not a new Twitter customer care strategy. But it is an innovative sales program launched in 1947 by Macy's Department Store .. it was a Miracle On 34th Street .. on the silver screen. Customers would not be coerced into buying what they did not want and if another store had a better, less expensive product Macy's would send them to that store.

Fast forward 62 years to 2009. Social media is one of the most exciting marketing strategies we've seen in the last 60+ years. Social media teaches us many lessons. One of the most important for marketers is our business is not all about the brand .. it is all about the customer. As with so many lessons, we seem to keep relearning this one.

In the world of conversational marketing there is no room for high-pressure sales techniques. As Mr. Macy learned we have to take our lead from our customers. Adding a relationship focused social media strategy to your master marketing plan can be a powerful initiative which demonstrates that you place your customers' needs above a one-off sale.

The digital relationships that the people (not departments) who are the heart of your brand can set off a chain reaction. Continuous listening -> which leads to continuous learning -> which leads to a continuous conversations -> which leads to trust -> which leads to loyalty -> which leads to the cash register bells ringing. And every time a cash register bell rings a marketer gets a bonus or gets to keep her job (!).. oops wrong film. Sorry.

Corner grocery store digital relationships that are build not only with you and your customers, but among your customers, could never have been imagined when Kris Kringle entered Macy's in 1947. However, even as we approach 2010, for many organizations open conversations still seem like a Miracle on (insert organization name here) or like the ghost of Xmas future (oops wrong movie again. Sorry.)

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible... consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

As we begin 2010, technology developments spin even faster taking digital marketing into areas that were impossible in '47 or '57 or even '09.

Imagine a site that holds current inventory and pricing, allows for on-line financing and results in better, faster cheaper processing.

Imagine a site that allows for product customization.

Imagine a site where you can start a conversation with a real person about what matters to you regarding a product or service.

Imagine a site where you can talk to a real person who doesn't respond with an FAQ list.

Imagine a site where you can actually help change the direction of a product or service before it's even launched.

Imagine a site where you can include your review of the product, service or customer care.

Imagine a site where you can talk to people about their experiences and learn from each other.

Imagine a company that doesn't close the door (or comment section) to you or your ideas.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

It's interesting to compare a 1940's film, where finding solutions to customers' problems was perceived as unique, to 2009 where finding solutions to customers' problems is considered ingenious.

The techniques may have changed. New buzz words may be added to the mix. Bells and whistles may be a little louder. However, after all is said and done, the premise remains the same:

-Listen

-Understand

-Add value

-Do what it takes to go the extra mile to delight your customer

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

Toby max santa hats  And with that Max and I wish you a holiday full of joy and all things wonderful in the new year.

Sidebar: A Classic Diva Marketing post based on an article written for AMA Marketing News. 

Social Media Marketing Plan _1

11/03/2009

Halloween-candy 2 A thought inspired by too much Halloween candy. 

From social media networks to blogs, widgets, tweets and hot mobile apps marketers are faced with more choices than we ever could have imagined.

It seems every day brings a new shiny toy to try .. and to confuse. Add a few traditional tactics .. PR, email, advertising and search and the job becomes overwhelming. Overlay that with an internal structure  where functions are silo-ed by departments and you have a frightening disjointed marketing program.

One of the benefits that social media brings to the enterprise is a critical need to ensure cross functional communication systems are in place. As we're seeing social media does not live only in PR or Marketing or Customer Service.

Over the next few days let's take a dive into creating a Social Media Marketing Plan. The first step is to align internal stakholders and understand the landscape. What I call the P-I-E-C-E conversation is a process that helps develop a foundation for The Social Enterprise and sets the stage for developing an integrated marketing plan.

PIECE Conversation
Step 1: Prepare: educational component. as it relates to social media: competitive analysis, customer activity, industry trends
Step 2: Invite people who perceive they have a stake: C-suite, marketing, legal, technology, customer service
Step 4: Encourage people to talk openly
Step 5: Confirm and prioritize issues (including objectives/goals)
Step 6: Engage next steps create a Red Flag Memo

Red flag memo

Social Media In The Moment Marketing

10/14/2009

Max and kitty 10_09 Max and I were taking a walk yesterday. A big yellow and white cat came over to Max and he stopped to play with her. Yes, Max likes cats.  His little tail wagged so quickly. His concentration on his kitty friend was total and complete. He was in the moment. When he was done he walked happily away to his next important thing to do. Max is a very busy pooch.

I thought .. social media is an in the moment way to conduct marketing. Then I thought .. the idea of responding to an external influence at the time the incident occurs is foreign to traditional marketing. Marketing is based on strategy where research, plans and how to figure it all out comes before a formal execution of tactics is achieved. Even PR whose charge it is to 'manage' the reputation of the brand rarely responds in the moment.

Social media goes against the grain of how marketers including PR, sales and to a great extent customer service professionals have managed their responsibilities as stewards of the brand. Or does it? Can the two concepts happily co-exist? Can marketing maintain a strategic focus while still being in the moment?

Let's first define what in the moment marketing means in terms of social media. In the simplest of ideas it takes into account only four steps: Monitoring, Understanding, Interacting, Integrating

1. Monitoring the discussion occurring in the digital world of blogs, tweets, forums, social networks, etc.

2. Understanding the challenges of customers and stakeholders to what they feel impacts the brand promise; as well as appreciating the people who say nice things.

3. Interacting with the people who take the time to have digital discussions about your brand.

4. Integration of ideas into your company and into the brand.

The complexity and sophistication of social media in the moment marketing occurs behind the scenes in the How where traditional marketing's strong suite comes into play through building the foundation. 

Questions to help you think through the process of in the moment marketing for your organization. 

1. How will monitoring or listening occur? Will you use a free tool like Google Alerts or RSS key word feeds or will you contract with a social media monitoring company?

2. How will understanding or hearing what is critical information be determined? How will the information be sent to the right people at the right time .. which may be real time?  Who are the "right" people?

3. How will you reach out to customers and stakeholders? Will that occur in public through comments on posts or in tweets? Will you take the conversation offline in an email or phone call? Who will be responsible for follow-up .. both to the individual and to the community at-large who has passively heard the remarks? 

4. How will you integrate the learnings into the fabric of the brand or into new processes for your enterprise?

It's all a part of developing the new social enterprise .. but it takes so much more to be in the moment for a brand than for a dog!